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Las Vegas to Phoenix Vacation

In January 2020, when we planned a 10-day trip to California, Nevada and Phoenix, we were aware of COVID-19: a new and highly-infectious virus centered in Wuhan, China. And we took what we thought were appropriate precautions, such as wearing a cloth mask during flights; disinfecting door handles, light switches and remotes in our hotel rooms; and hanging the "no service please" sign so that housekeeping stayed out for the duration of our stay. But we enjoyed eating out three times/day, joined throngs of people exploring Las Vegas at night and didn't hesitate to get up close to the eyepiece of the Clark Telescope at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. We certainly didn't imagine our 10-day getaway would be our only vacation in 2020 and into the foreseeable future. And now I sit, more than 4 months after our return to Calgary, writing the wrap-up post for a holiday that seems like it took place a lifetime ago...

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Day Trip: Death Valley National Park

As first-time visitors to Death Valley National Park, we seriously underestimated the scale of America's hottest, driest and lowest national park. A day-trip to the largest national park in the lower-48 is barely enough time to get a sense for the dramatic and varied landscape and definitely not enough time to get out to do much exploring on foot. If we ever make a return visit to Death Valley NP, we'll plan for an overnight stay in the park, for more boots on the ground hiking time plus opportunities for sunrise and night photography.